Catherynne Henderson and Angela Pritchard are part of the army of volunteers helping to make Cannock Chase parkrun a huge success.
The duo are part of a 350 strong team of volunteers who take turns, giving up their time each week, wind, rain or shine to ensure that the event runs smoothly.
The event which started in November 2016 now has around 400 runners taking part every Saturday on the 5km picturesque route around Cannock Chase, starting from Marquis Drive. The event is also supported by Staffordshire County Council park rangers, some of whom have even started taking part in their spare time.
“Parkrun has helped me in so many ways. Not just for the health benefits of being able to run 5k regularly but the social side too. Since starting to volunteer and run at parkrun I have made so many friends, and I actually look forward to getting up early on a Saturday to go and see them. I love the feel of parkrun, it is like a huge extended family and everyone is always so happy to see everyone else. Parkrun is utterly amazing and I now recommend it to whoever will listen to me.”
The event set up costs were funded by Staffordshire County Council and Cannock Chase District Council to help increase the number of people taking part in physical activity in the area.
Alan White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing at Staffordshire County Council said:
“One of our key priorities is to help people lead healthier and happier lives and we are keen to see more people more active more often. Our parkrun has become a great event and a wonderful example of people coming together week in week out to support each other. But if it wasn’t for the volunteers who give up their time it wouldn’t be possible. It’s really down to them that we have such a successful event so a huge thanks to them all.”
Councillor Muriel Davis, Portfolio Leader for Health and Wellbeing at Cannock Chase Council said
“One of our main priorities at Cannock Chase Council is better health outcomes and the Cannock Chase parkrun fits this perfectly. “I was delighted when I heard that the parkrun was starting and I can’t believe it’s been twelve months. The figures of those attending each week is outstanding, it’s fantastic to hear the stories of people who have not only got fit and lost weight, but also built friendships and even say it’s changed their lives. None of this could be done without the volunteers, who turn up each week, whatever the weather. Well done to all those involved.”
Ellen Williams, Co-Event Director for Cannock Chase Parkrun said:
“We could never have dreamt Cannock Chase parkrun would take off in the way it has over the past year. To put this run on each week takes an enormous effort and it would not be possible without all of the wonderful parkrun volunteers.
We fondly named our volunteers early on as ‘Bundles of joy in hi-viz vests’; we were flung straight into winter when we began and our volunteers kept turning up, they kept smiling and they kept being positive! We couldn’t have asked for better. I’d also like to say thanks to Zoe Burns who is the main volunteer coordinator. She fills the rosters, answers emails and questions about volunteering and basically organises everyone – we would be a sinking ship without her.”
Anyone interested in becoming part of the volunteer team can find out more at www.parkrun.org.uk/cannockchase/futureroster/